Centre for European Studies
- Angels in the City: history and Aura in Nooteboom, Wenders, Benjamin, and Giacometti
- Cees Nootebeoom, All Souls Day (1999, new pb edition in English, 2002)
- Wim Wenders, The Wings of Desire (1987)
- Walter Benjamin, ‘Theses on the Philosophy of History’, in Illuminations (1939);
- selections from The Arcades Project.
Noteboom's novel is a fictional account of the history of Berlin since the coming down of the wall, weaving notions of history together with the personal experiences of trauma. Its principle character has the ambition to make a documentary about Benjamin, and the novel includes passages supposedly written by angels. Benjamin’s ‘Angel of History’ is an explicit intertextual reference in the novel, while Wim Wenders's film and his filmic angels is an implicit and silent one. The novel also involves a sculptor whose approach creates and intertextual allusions to the work of Giacometti with the human figure, and his engagement formally with notions of witness as well as trauma.